The perfect gift for a child

December 13, 2018

Being Frank

By: Frank James
Special to the Milwaukee Times

Many parents in the USA are planning to purchase Christmas gifts for their children. Many are looking to buy clothes or shoes for their child to wear. In the African American community, parents are mimicking their white counterparts by buying to excess. A vast number of African American children receiving these gifts are a colored mockery of their white peers. There is one gift that doesn’t cost anything that African American parents need to give their offspring– a reality check.

African American youth in the USA are some of the best-dressed students in any school. If the school doesn’t have a uniform dress code then you can believe African American students have the market cornered on Nike, Jordan, True Religion, etc. This fact will be glaringly showcased after Christmas. In these same schools the African American students are also the ones with the disturbing blindness about where they are or status in the USA. The gift of reality about African American status and the state of the USA is something their parents need to give African American students on Christmas Day.

I’m sure all African American parents love or at least care for their children. Yet it seems as if these same parents set their children up for failure or exploitation. I have witnessed African American youth in schools that are so out of touch with the African American experience in the USA it is mind boggling. In the USA African Americans are systematically being manipulated into servitude or death. African American youth seem to be oblivious to this because the parents do not inform them of the situation all African Americans face in the USA. This has to stop.

When I was growing up every African American I knew had parents that told them, “You have to be two times better than white children in the USA to make it.” I asked a group of African American youth in 2018 had they ever heard this statement. The response from every one of the youth was a blank stare. This is preposterous in the least. African American adults know that it is pressure and borderline pain living with the monetary chase that is called working in the USA. How will it be in the future when there is no middle class jobs, factory or warehouse that pay decent wages? What will any teen face entering the job market with only a high school diploma? How will it be for an African American teen entering the job market with anything less than a bachelor degree? With a degree an African American may wind up loading boxes for minimum wage.

Many African American students have a sense of entitlement similar to white students. This is another failure assumption on the African American student’s part. The breaks white people get in the USA are not ones African Americans receive, especially uneducated ones. African American parents need to stress that education is a major tool to get them what they want in life. Education is not salvation, just something to use and not use the African American student. Parents need to give their children the real story of working in the USA. Parents need to share the good and bad stories about being African American in a White based society and work force. This gift of reality needs to be implemented gradually starting in 1st grade.

A reality check costs nothing and will assist an African American student far more than an I-Phone 7. African American parents, feel free to lavish gifts upon your children this Christmas Season. Do not forget to give them the ultimate gift in a nice reality check. That is, African American parent, if you are able to give a reality check.

Frank James IV © 2018

The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the writer and not of the Milwaukee Times Weekly Newspaper or NCON Communication, its staff or management. “Being Frank” is a bi-weekly column exclusive to the Milwaukee Times Weekly Newspaper.

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